Christopher Morrongiello | Rebecca Pechefsky | Erik Ryding | Gregory Bynum
Gregory Bynum, recorder, has received fellowships to study in England and at the Amherst Early Music Festival in Massachusetts, where he worked with Marion Verbruggen, Han Tol, and Mattias Weilenman. He has performed with members of the Yale music faculty, including Jaap Schroeder, and with students and faculty of the Mannes School of Music. Mr. Bynum has also taught at the Bloomingdale House of Music in Manhattan and has performed at the Morris-Jumel Mansion, the Middletown Thrall Library, the historic Old Stone House in Brooklyn, and numerous other chamber music venues in and around New York. He is a frequent guest performer with Brooklyn Baroque and can be heard on the ensemble’s recordings Northern Lights and The Pleasures of the French. He also joins Brooklyn Baroque on a new recording of music by Beth Anderson, The Praying Mantis and the Bluebird (MSR Classics), and can be heard on the Quill Classics YouTube channel with Ensemble Luini. Mr. Bynum is Associate Professor in the School of Education at SUNY New Paltz.
Christopher Morrongiello, a former British Marshall Scholar, is a graduate of the Mannes College of Music, the Royal College of Music, and the University of Oxford, where he earned a PhD in musicology. As a recitalist, Christopher has performed to critical acclaim throughout Europe and the United States. In 1993 he was a prizewinner in the BBC Radio Two Young Musician of the Year Competition and in 1996 was awarded a Marco Fodella Foundation Scholarship for studies and research in Milan, Italy. In 2006, the Lute Society of America conferred upon him its first Patrick O’Brien LSA Seminar Lectureship. Heralded as an innovative music director and creator of large-scale dramatic works, Christopher has a gift for bringing music of the Renaissance and Baroque to life in its literary and social context. His musical portrait of the Elizabethan muse and songstress Penelope Devereux, created for soprano Emily Van Evera (My Lady Rich, Avie Records 0045), has been described by Renaissance Magazine as “a presentation of unusual quality and beauty” and by The New York Times as “an inspired idea … a vivid and touching portrait.” Christopher is a member of the Venere Lute Quartet, performs regularly with sopranos Marcia Young and Alexandra Olsavsky, and directs the New York–based Bacheler Consort. Recently, the Metropolitan Museum of Art produced several beautiful video recordings of his playing on a gut-strung, sixteenth-century lute as well as on copies of lutes in their priceless musical instrument collection.
Well known in the New York area, Rebecca Pechefsky has performed in such venues as Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, Merkin Hall, and the Morris-Jumel Mansion. She has also been heard in concert series of Capriccio Baroque, the Miami Bach Society, and the Harpsichord Center in Pasadena and Brentwood, California, as well as in fringe concerts of the Boston Early Music Festival and the Berkeley Festival. Recent European engagements include recitals in Milan (Sforza Castle), Bologna, Genoa, Amsterdam, Berlin, Basel, London (Handel House), and Cambridge, England, where in November 2018 she participated in a marathon celebrating François Couperin’s 350th birthday. As part of the Krebs 300th birthday celebrations in Germany, she was invited to perform in Zwickau and Altenburg in 2013; and in 2015 she performed with Elaine Funaro at the Estonian Harpsichord Festival in Tallinn. Among her recordings for Quill Classics are the complete harpsichord music of François d’Agincour; Bach and His Circle (JPF Music Award, Best Classical Solo Album); Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier, Books 1 and 2, the first praised in Fanfare as “excellent to the highest degree”; and Johann Ludwig Krebs @ 300. Also committed to contemporary music, she has premiered works by Mary Inwood, Mark Janello, Graham Lynch, Frank J. Oteri, Louis Pelosi, Milos Raickovich, Johnny Reinhard, and Ben Yarmolinsky, and can be heard on Beth Anderson’s new CD, The Praying Mantis and the Bluebird (MSR Classics) and the just-released Uno, Due, Tre: New Works for Harpsichord (Aliénor Records), with fellow harpsichordists Elaine Funaro and Beverly Biggs. Currently organist at Redeemer Lutheran Churchin Glendale, Queens, she lives in Brooklyn with her husband, Erik Ryding, with whom she coauthored the award-winning biography Bruno Walter: A World Elsewhere, recently issued in Japanese translation. For more information, visit rpechefsky.com
Born in New York City, Erik Ryding began playing the lute in his late teens, participating in master classes with Eugen Dombois in the Netherlands and later studying in Basel, Switzerland, with Anthony Bailes. In 1979 and 1981 he toured Germany, performing with the soprano Cornelia Praetorius. For years he taught English literature at Barnard College and elsewhere, specializing in the Renaissance. With the soprano Amanda Sidebottom he formed Well-Tuned Words in 2011. The duo has performed on both coasts of the US as well as in Milan, Paris,Amsterdam, Basel, and Berlin. Their CD, Great Wonder, enjoyed critical praise. In 2016 he played in an ensemble of twenty lutes led by Paul O’Dette that included Nigel North, Ronn McFarlane, Robert Barto, Christopher Morrongiello, and other lute masters. He is the author of In Harmony Framed, based on his Columbia University doctoral dissertation, and with his wife, the harpsichordist Rebecca Pechefsky, he co-authored the award-winning biography Bruno Walter: A World Elsewhere (Yale University Press).
Ensemble Luini is named after Bernardino Luini (ca. 1480–1532), a northern Italian painter in the circle of Leonardo da Vinci. Why Luini? Because he created an exquisite altarpiece, Madonna and Child Enthroned with Angels (1523), depicting the mother and child surrounded by angels playing lutes and recorders—the core instruments of Ensemble Luini, a combination we enrich with early keyboards. Much of our repertoire dates from Luini’s era, and fortunately for us, a sixteenth-century copy of the altarpiece’s central panel (reproduced in the left column), made in Luini’s workshop, hangs in the Brooklyn Museum to offer us continual inspiration.
Music at Morris-Jumel
Ensemble Luini made its Music at Morris-Jumel debut last March.
GEMS Midtown Concerts
Ensemble Luini at St. Bartholomew’s Church on Park Avenue.
photos: Lana Krakovskiy (top); Dennis Cembalo (bottom)
For more videos, visit the Quill Classics YouTube channel
Ortiz: Recercada Segunda
Ensemble Luini performs Diego Ortiz’s famous Recercada Segunda for gamba in an arrangement for recorder and two lutes.
Robinson: Fantasy for Two Lutes
Christopher Morrongiello and Erik Ryding from Ensemble Luini perform Thomas Robinson’s Fantasy for Two Lutes from the composer’s School of Music (1603).
Christopher Morrongiello performs Dowland’s Lachrimae on an instrument at the Metropolitan Museum.
Harpsichordist Rebecca Pechefsky plays a Fantasia (Fitzwilliam Virginal Book, No. 52) by William Byrd.
Josquin: Mille Regretz
Ensemble Luini performs Josquin des Prez’s famous chanson “Mille Regretz” on recorder and two lutes.
Shakespeare in Verse and Music
Ensemble Luini joins the sensational actor Sam Tsoutsouvas and tenor Philip Anderson for readings from Shakespeare interspersed with selections of music from the plays.
Thursday, January 9 at 1:15 PM, GEMS Midtown Concerts, St. Bartholomew’s Church
Ensemble Luini’s debut at the GEMS Midtown Concerts
Recent Past Concerts:
Monday, February 11, at 12:30 PM, St. Francis College
Featuring tenor Philip Anderson
Saturday, March 23 at 7:30 PM, Morris-Jumel Mansion
Ensemble Luini’s debut at Music at Morris-Jumel.